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Table of Contents
About The Book
The Haunting of Hill House meets Sadie in this evocative and mind-bending psychological thriller following two teen girls navigating the treacherous past of a mysterious mansion ten years apart.
Daisy sees dead people—something impossible to forget in bustling, ghost-packed Toronto. She usually manages to deal with her unwanted ability, but she’s completely unprepared to be dumped by her boyfriend. So when her mother inherits a secluded mansion in northern Ontario where she spent her childhood summers, Daisy jumps at the chance to escape. But the house is nothing like Daisy expects, and she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls…
A decade later, Brittney is desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother, a bestselling author who claims her stay at “Miracle Mansion” allowed her to see the error of her ways. But Brittney knows that’s nothing but a sham. She decides the new season of her popular Haunted web series will uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior and finally expose her mother’s lies. But as she gets more wrapped up in the investigation, she’ll have to decide: if she can only bring one story to light, which one matters most—Daisy’s or her own?
As Brittney investigates the mansion in the present, Daisy’s story runs parallel in the past, both timelines propelling the girls to face the most dangerous monsters of all: those that hide in plain sight.
CHAPTER ONE DAISY
There were two stories of how I was named. One was what Mom told people. Never casually. Only if they asked.
It was a dream of a drive long enough that you strain not to doze off, mingled with the extra-sweet tang of wild blueberries.
All of Ontario seemed to be built along rough gray roads stretching seemingly forever into the distance, where rolling down your window meant breathing in the sharp smell of burned rubber and stinging asphalt. The sort of tar-black road that scorched your feet with its heat and left the scent on your heels, smoky and stained, lingering in the air.
In this dream, Mom pulled onto the shoulder, bright emergency blinkers flashing on an empty highway. When I was little, growing up in a city, it was hard to picture a place I knew to be packed and busy, suddenly devoid. Like a ghost town. Abandoned. With Mom as its only inhabitant.
She stepped over the squat metal barrier between expressway and earth, careful with the swollen bump of her belly. She walked into the wreckage of fallen trees, burnt branches crumbling to white ash that stuck to her fingers and still smelled of fire. That’s where she found the blueberries. They grew in patches, short, small, and wild, alive in a field of death.
You could find the best blueberries after a burn, she’d say.
And there, in the midst of gathering the sweet fruit into the hem of her car-sweaty T-shirt, her tongue stained purple with juice, she found something else.
Inexplicably. In a place where only one plant seemed to grow was this other thing that shouldn’t have survived.
That was where my name came from.
Now, the second story.
The one where Grandma whispered that of course a sixteen-year-old would name her kid after a flower. Which meant that the second story wasn’t a story at all. Because that was the point, that there wasn’t one.
That my name was nothing more than a pretty tattoo: permanent and meaningless.
Why We Love It
“Delicious Monsters is one of those rare books that transcends its own genre. It’s a horror story showing that the worst kind of horror—the kind that takes root in your soul—is not ghosts, nor demons, but instead it’s the terrible things humans can do to each other. Yet at its heart, this book is deeply hopeful. There is hope in acknowledging trauma. There is hope in being kind to yourself even on the days it’s hardest. And there is hope in falling in front of those you love and trusting them to catch you. This book leaves me with chills. It’s kept me up at night—and not because of the horror, but because of the beautiful truths within it.”
—Sarah M., Senior Editor, on Delicious Monsters
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (February 28, 2023)
- Length: 512 pages
- ISBN13: 9781665903493
- Grades: 9 and up
- Ages: 14 - 99
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Raves and Reviews
"One part breathtaking ghost horror, one part gripping thriller, and an all-round absorbing read. Delicious Monsters turns an unflinching light onto the cycles of trauma and the ghosts that follow."
– Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the These Violent Delights Duet
“A haunted house thriller packed with cryptic mystery, dark humor, and bone-chilling twists. Sambury approaches the grim recesses of intergenerational trauma with diligence and bravery. The odd ghosts, fearless prose, and raw character dynamics make this an absolute page-turner and a win for psychic fiction.”
– Ryan Douglass, New York Times bestselling author of The Taking of Jake Livingston
"Full of eerie ghosts and secrets most sinister, Delicious Monsters is the perfect read for a dark and stormy night. I read most of it from behind the safety of my fingers and was left thoroughly haunted."
– Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows and Small Favors
"On one page, this book sings a lullaby, and on the next, it throws you into a whirlwind you never could’ve seen coming. At its core, Delicious Monsters is a screaming declaration to the world that Black girls are complex and flawed, capable of everything, and that we matter. I'll be putting Delicious Monsters into the hands of everyone I know with a pulse."
– Brittney Morris, author of Slay and The Cost of Knowing
“Scary, complex, emotional, lived-in, ambitious, Liselle Sambury’s Delicious Monsters is a can’t miss. A Canadian gothic epic (northern gothic?) that has a lot to say about the stories and lies we tell ourselves about our own families. Oh, and did I mention it’s scary?”
– Adam Cesare, author of Clown in a Cornfield and Video Night
"Delicious Monsters grabs you by the throat in the first chapter and refuses to let go until the very end. I was on the edge of my seat for this whole book. Sambury’s chillingly beautiful prose will stay with you for ages."
– Victoria Lee, author of A Lesson in Vengeance
"Delicious Monsters drew me in with its complex, compelling characters and richly layered secrets. A powerful story of mothers and daughters, trauma and healing, with a truly frightening haunted house at its center."
– Kate Alice Marshall, author of Rules for Vanishing and These Fleeting Shadows
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